Calling all Idiotarod enthusiasts and people who work in Midtown who might want a lunchtime spectacle. The Carts of Brooklyn Racing Association, aka COBRA, will be holding a press conference at 1PM today outside CBS's headquarters. The group, which is organizing this year's Idiotarod, will be protesting tonight's episode of CSI:NY and its "depiction of shopping cart racing," as the CSI spin-off has been using the Idiotarod name in marketing materials (in the show, it's called the "Idiot Run") without permission. "COBRA's Diabolical Mastermind" Oscar Owens says:

This is yet another example of the lack of respect with which the media treats the 'craft of the speeding trolley.' For years shopping cart racers have faced uninformed and distorted images of themselves. Now they want to paint us as thieves and murderers? It would be one thing if CSI:NY weren't so bad, but this Gary Sinise-led monstrosity is beyond the pale. Do you hear us, Les Moonves? We demand satisfaction."

COBRA says to expect the unexpected at the press conference today. And if you see a huge snake head that blows fire outside CBS's headquarters at 51 West 52nd Street, that might be the COBRA cart from last year's Idiotarod.

The above photograph is from pixietart's excellent Idiotarod 2006 Flickr set. And Gothamist spoke to COBRA member "Number Six" yesterday about the situation.

What's your association with the Carts of Brooklyn? Do you have a specific position on the team?
Number Six

: Carts of Brooklyn Racing Association's structure is serpentine (of course) and Byzantine. Mostly because we are fans of the Byzantine era. To give my official position and to fully comprehend it would involve a 3 hour Power Point presentation. We have one available at our seminars. I believe the next one is at the Cleveland Airport Hilton on the 17th. But I believe it is already booked up. I'll see if I can get you a slot. My position also changes at the whim of Rench. But I can neither confirm nor deny that Rench exists, has ever existed, or that he is standing over my shoulder right now with a photo of my cat Cliffton Cutiepie dangling over a pit of vipers in an undisclosed location.

The short answer is that I've been with COBRA since the first year of the NY Idiotarod, when it wasn't COBRA yet. The first year was purely scouting, getting the lay of the land. It wasn't until the 2005 that COBRA burst from its Golden Egg or Mischief.

Short short answer: I am a member of The Committee.

How do you feel about the CSI NY episode?
What disappoints COBRA the most about CSI:NY is that we offered to work with them. We were very willing to help them create a ground breaking hour of television. Paradigm shifting event. You remember the final episode of M.A.S.H.? When Hawkeye kept talking about the woman who killed the chicken to keep it quiet, but then you find out it was not a chicken but a baby? Something like that. Or the Superbowl with a better half time show.

In addition, we are very upset at the continued negative portrayal of shopping cart racers in the media. For too long the public has been bombarded with images that are ignorant and hateful. How can we expect our children to grow up and continue the noble art of urban supermarket trolley competition if all they see are characters that are thieves and murders and drunks? Who is thinking about the children?!

Also, CSI:NY is just not a good show. I used to like Gary Sinise. I even liked him in Ransom. What happened to him? You know when you'd rather watch David Caruso something has gone seriously seriously wrong.

What can we expect from this year's Idiotarod?
What can you not expect?! One thing to remember is that COBRA is the undisputed masters of sabotage. I mean, we got the previous organizers (who must be given insane crazy massive mad props) to give the race to us. We DO NOT resort to throwing eggs or mayo. We are about deception and cunning. Shadows and mirrors. Slight of hand and misdirection. Masters of illusion. Did you see the movie The Prestige? Because I missed it. But it looked good, didn't it? I mean, Bowie as Tesla! How could it not be good?!

We also don't like running. Too many of us smoke.

There will be changes. There is no longer rewards for 1st, 2nd, 3rd. It is now 4th, 5th, 6th and Last. Think about it for a minute. Also the check points will be more interactive. Judge on the course will be giving "points." What this means will have to be discovered that day. We also love good theme carts that clearly folks put tons of energy into. The Monkeys from last year? Fantastic! The Bananas? The Warhols? Keep it up. (Pirates are very very 2004 though. You are not Johnny Depp. Remember that.)

And for those teams that plan to go for the Best Sabotage Award... you have a lot to live up to. We respect creativity, cunning and humor. We want everyone to have a fantastic day and not smell like a deli. Give it some thought, folks! Just because it is called the Idiotarod, doesn't mean you can't be smart. Play to the height of your intelligence. Unless you are Troop 666. Then you should borrow someone else's intelligence. I kid! We love you guys! No, actually we don't. We don't give you a lot of thought.

And would you be interested in helping Law & Order if they wanted your assistance with a plot involving a murder TV production type and the suspects are the shopping cart racers who were angry about not getting due credit?
Very likely. But it is not about getting credit. It is about Truth. I don't know about us murdering anyone. Perhaps if racers did it and then cleverly framed someone else. Or a heist ala Ocean's Eleven. Not 12 though. Didn't like it that much. 13 looks good though. Clooney is dreamy. I hope Pitt eats more shrimp.

I would prefer plot involving a group of crime solving shopping cart racers. Law&Order: COBRA has a nice ring to it. We would also be open to Lost, Heroes or The Office. But really it should be an HBO project. Because it needs to be "real."

Photograph of COBRA during last year's Idiotarod by pixietart on Flickr